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Access to Justice Inquiry

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has launched an inquiry into access to justice for small business.

It’s recognised that a power imbalance exists in small business dealings with big business and governments.

This can deter small business operators from pursing legal options through the courts because of the cost, time and resources involved.

The first phase of the inquiry will examine:

  • The nature and incidence of small business disputes in Australia, identifying patterns and trends;
  • The level of awareness of options available to small businesses, particularly alternative dispute resolution;
  • Actions taken by small businesses when faced with a dispute;
  • Reasons for decisions made throughout the dispute resolution process, and
  • Developments and trends in similar jurisdictions overseas.

ASBFEO will survey small businesses in early 2018 and any business operator who’s interested will be able to participate.

A discussion paper will be released by the middle of 2018 to summarise the research and propose policy options.

Public comment will be invited on the paper.

Download a copy of the Terms of Reference here.

See the media announcement